Anyway, my Mom's been after me to write one of these for a while, because my brother and his wife were in therapy and this is apparently some kind of 'thing.' I never did because... well, because. I don't know any of you.
But now things are weird, and people have gone nuts all around me, and I don't have a good place to talk about this, and this seems like a really bad idea and right now there's nothing I'd rather do than follow a really bad idea. Really. My friend Stace says that when things go nuts, you do something really dumb -- then, by the time you've fixed the really dumb thing, you've fixed all the really nuts stuff too without stressing about it.
Of course, Stace is failing half her classes so maybe she's not the best person to give advice.
Anyway. My name is Abbey Caine and I'm in my last couple of months as a Sophomore in High School here in Milborough. My father's an accountant, and my mother's a homemaker. Dad's got an anger management problem. Mom's really great, almost all of the time. I don't have it any better or worse than most of my friends.
I also have an older brother, Anthony. Technically, he's my half-brother because he's the son of my dad's first wife, who took off for Denmark or someplace way before I was born, but he's always just been my brother Anthony. He's a wet blanket when he's on his game, which he usually isn't. He was married to a cold bitch for a while, 'cause she was hot and knew how to compliment him. They had a kid who's better than either of them. Then he married this chick he'd be mooning after since at least as long as I've been alive, and they moved to Vancouver. They had a cute kid too. My brother doesn't do much, but he can make cute children.
Anyway, the second wife is Liz Patterson -- of the infamous Pattersons. While they had kids in our school system they were like the 800 pound gorillas, pushing their way into everything. Since April Patterson -- you remember, the nasal kid from 'Forever' or whatever it was -- graduated, they turned into the school joke. The mother lost what brain she had, the father became kind of the town jerk, one of their kids wrote a couple of books... all pretty messed up stuff. And for a long time I had to endure more than my share of it because all the kids thought I had the 'inside scoop.' I mean, Liz Patterson's my sister in law, right?
Not that I ever had dirt. It's not like Anthony calls us every week, the way he does that nutjob Mr. Patterson. They barely seemed to remember I was alive at least before Thanksgiving this year -- my parents flew out to Vancouver to spend it with them, and I had a nice dinner with my own grandparents and stayed out of it. Dad and Anthony had an argument so I'm glad I missed it. Then the next month there was some crisis Liz had to run off and be a part of, so Mom and I flew out to help out with the kids, and that meant I had two weeks off of school (I did my assignments over e-mail. It was cool). That was probably the nicest time I've ever had with Anthony. He was preoccupied but we all did stuff, and the kids are really great. He kind of vented while we were there -- more whining, but this time it wasn't about how his wife wanted a job. It was about how she didn't want a job, she wanted 'something,' and his father-in-law was making mistakes and Anthony had to clean them up. You know. 'Poor me, I just want to be the nice guy.' Don't buy it. He just wants to be thought of as the nice guy.
Anyway. We came back, then Liz flew back to America for some other crisis --this time Anthony got a nanny. And then they flew out here for Easter and now crazy old Elly Patterson's dead.
So we still have the kids at our house and probably will for a couple of weeks. The cops have been around to talk to my parents about Anthony -- and Dad made things worse by shouting and now I think they're poking into his affairs too. Dad really doesn't like old mister Patterson. And it's all a mess.
But that's not why I needed... I dunno. To make the mistake of writing this.
See, here's the thing. The Pattersons are a joke. And I've had to endure questions about them for years now. And everyone's been laughing them off. Mrs. Patterson went into the nutbin and it was a joke. Mr. Patterson gets arrested for abuse and it's a joke. My Dad and Mr. Patterson have a shouting match on the CBC and it's a joke.
Today... everyone's being nice to me. Even Stace was like "I'm so sorry. That's so terrible." Like I'm broken up because Mrs. Patterson is dead.
I don't get that. Why do people suddenly change the way they act because someone's dead. No one had pity for Mrs. Patterson when she was insane and alive -- because why would they? She wasn't very nice. Now that she's dead, not only does everyone act like this is some kind of tragedy -- and maybe even a muuuuuurder -- but they act like I must be broken up about it.
Guys, I didn't know this woman. I met her like three times -- one of which was the huge-ass wedding Liz and Anthony had, and that was the first time Mrs. Patterson even realized I was related to Anthony. Before they got married, I was just the designated Babysitter for Francie while Liz and Anthony -- I dunno. 'Courted?' Elly Patterson never even knew my name. It's like I didn't exist outside of being part of Anthony's history. And she loooooved Anthony.
So I'm all confused now, because I'm getting all this pity over a woman I didn't know and didn't even like, and there are police, and suddenly it's like we're raising two new kids in the house, and Mom's just bereft because her 'baby boy' (who isn't even related to him by the way) is going through all this and Dad's ranting and raving around the house again....
Why does anyone give a shit about Elly Patterson being dead? All we ever did was laugh at her.
You want to know the creepiest thing? Suddenly, Liz is all over Anthony. I know they're married and this was a shock or something, but suddenly it's like... I dunno. Maybe she thinks she's the alpha dog now that her crazy old rotten mother's dead. Like all the stories are finally gonna be about her.
I have this terrible fear that all the kids are going to be laughing about her and asking me questions and I'll have to put up with that until graduation. And Anthony will just encourage her and pitch in and help and make little backhanded asides he thinks are funny, while they raise their two and later three kids and deal with their divorced freewheeling entertainment-industry brother who blows into town every couple of weeks.
Maybe I'm over reacting. It's not good that Mrs. Patterson is dead. It's just... I dunno.
I wish it would all just blow over.
Anyway. Now I've written all this down and made my mistake. Now I'll hit 'send' and I can start dealing with the shitstorm that comes out of it, and that way all the craziness from the weekend will become unimportant in my life.
I'm beginning to think Stace may be full of shit. Still, here goes nothing.